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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 31-ranked Ohio State women’s tennis team moved to 4-2 (1-0 Big Ten) after a 6-1 win over conference foe Penn State (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) at home in the OSU Varsity Tennis Center. The match was the first league action for both teams this season and marked Campus Kids’ Day for the Buckeye women’s tennis program. The Buckeyes swept doubles before taking five of six singles matches against the Nittany Lions.

“Penn State is an improved team from last season,” Ohio State head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “I give them a lot of credit. On our side, we missed a few opportunities tonight.”

The Buckeyes have yet to drop a doubles match at home this season.

Both teams came out swinging hard in doubles. The 50th-ranked Buckeye duo of Kelsey Haviland and Gabby Steele posted an 8-3 victory on court two against Amy Simidian and Carmen Sandor before Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley sealed the point for the Buckeyes with an 8-5 win on court three against Denisa Zobeideh and Sarah Henderson.

The court one match between Ohio State’s tandem of Paloma Escobedo and Cami Hubbs, ranked 64th in the nation, and Penn State’s Petra Januskova and Fernanda Perrotta, the 68th-ranked duo in the country, was a back and forth battle from the beginning. The squads raced to a 7-7 tie before the Buckeyes responded with an 8-6 tiebreaker win to take the match, 8-7, and give Ohio State its third doubles sweep of the year.

Sophomore Buckeye Fidan Manshirova continued her spectacular 2011 campaign with her 12th-consecutive singles victory after taking down Perrotta on court five, 6-1, 6-2. Next to Manashirova on court six, Hubbs kept another streak alive in her win against Sarah Henderson. The 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory moved the team’s record at the No. 6 spot to 6-0 this season.

Steele clinched the match for Ohio State with a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Zobeideh on court four seconds after Hubbs’ win.

On court three against Sandor, Cecil rallied after dropping the first  set in a tiebreaker to tie the match with a 6-3 victory in the second set. She dominated the super tiebreaker, winning 10-1 to claim the match and the Buckeyes’ fifth team point. 

Haviland’s match against Simidian was the lone contest to enter a full third set. The two battled, but eventually Simidian pulled away with a 6-4 decision in the third to take the set and claim Penn State’s only point of the night.

The match between Escobedo and Januskova on court one was the last to finish. Escobedo took the first set, 6-4, before the competition began to heat up and emotions flared. In the end, the Buckeye was able to claim the match in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(6).

The Buckeyes host William & Mary Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Tennis Match Results
Penn State vs Ohio State
Feb 11, 2011 at Columbus, Ohio
(OSU Varsity Tennis Center)
#31 Ohio State 6, Penn State 1

Singles competition
1. Paloma Escobedo (OSU) def. #59 Petra Januskova (PSU) 6-4, 7-6 (6)
2. Amy Simidian (PSU) def. #125 Kelsey Haviland (OSU) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
3. Kara Cecil (OSU) def. Carmen Sandor (PSU) 6-7 (2), 6-3, 1-0
4. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Denisa Zobeideh (PSU) 6-3, 6-1
5. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Fernanda Perrotta (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. Sarah Henderson (PSU) 6-2, 7-6 (4)

Doubles competition
1. #64 Paloma Escobedo/Cami Hubbs (OSU) def. #68 Petra Januskova/Fernanda Perrotta (PSU) 8-7
2. #50 Kelsey Haviland/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Amy Simidian/Carmen Sandor (PSU) 8-3
3. Kara Cecil/Noelle Malley (OSU) def. Denisa Zobeideh/Sarah Henderson (PSU) 8-5

Match Notes:
Penn State 3-2
Ohio State 4-2; National ranking #31
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (5,6,4,3,2,1)
T-4:11 A-157